By  on December 13, 2012

Liz Claiborne Inc. might have changed its name to Fifth & Pacific Cos. Inc. in May, but its signature brand still resonates with shoppers for dresses, suits and eveningwear. The label’s versatile and affordable styles helped with its number-one ranking. Claiborne, which in the Seventies sent a generation of women to work in pantsuits, is now sold exclusively at J.C. Penney, where chief executive officer Ron Johnson sees the brand’s concept shops as a drawing card for his chain.

In second place is Calvin Klein. Designer and creative director Francisco Costa described the spring collection as “Erotic. Feminine. Urban. Chic. High sophistication,” and said he was inspired for the brand’s signature collection by the elan of the late Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, one of Calvin Klein’s most famous employees. Her fashion sense was evident in the designer’s artful tailoring, one of the hallmarks of her style during her brief time in the public eye.

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